Thursday, April 09, 2015



You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  (Psalm 16:11)

What do we mean by hedonism?   It is, “The doctrine that pleasure is the only good and proper goal of moral endeavor.”  The hedonism of the world is evil.  Scripture warns of those who are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” (2 Tim.3:4).  But what about Christian hedonism?  Bible teacher, John Piper, introduced this concept to me several years ago.  Consider this quote, “The desire to be happy is a proper motive for every good deed, and if you abandon the pursuit of your own joy, you cannot love man or please God.” Piper is right on target!  “The fruit of the Spirit is… joy” (Gal.5:22).  This is what God wants His children to experience.

Joy is found in GOD’S PRESERVATION (v.1-4).  Joy comes in knowing that our sins are forgiven and we are on our way to heaven.  David confesses that God has saved him.  Salvation is by faith in God, and not in David’s own goodness.  Apart from God’s saving activity, we have no goodness to commend us to God.  We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ—and that is a reason to rejoice!  Had we no other blessing, this is so supreme, so sublime that it will be the subject of our worship of the Lamb of God throughout eternity.  When we have a spiritual birth, we come into the great family of God and what a delightful company is the fellowship of the saints!  David refers to them as “excellent ones.”  This is how we should view our fellow believers.  David said elsewhere, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’”  Is that your testimony?

Joy is also rooted in GOD’S PROVISION (v.5-6).  If you can trust Him with your soul, surely you should trust Him for your supply.  Rejoice in strength for today (v.5).  We may be weak, but He is strong.  David knew that at the end of his resources, waited the limitless provision of God.  This is what Paul meant when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil.4:13)  Furthermore, God provides serenity for tomorrow (v.6).  Besides his portion and his cup, the Lord had assigned him a delightful inheritance.  “The boundary lines . . . in pleasant places speak of portions of land measured by line and distributed by lot. In other words, he compared God’s blessings to the best inheritance a person could receive. The Lord had given him a wonderfully full life.”[1]  What serenity there is in knowing that we have an inheritance waiting for us that is “out of this world.”

Ultimate joy is in GOD’S PRESENCE (v.7-11).  This is the consummate delight.  There is a Counselor who walks with us in all the decisions we face—a Good Shepherd who guides us in all the directions we take.   Further, David is confident that nothing in this world can overcome him—not even death!  This is fulfilled in a relationship with Christ, who said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life…” (John 11:25).  David is describing a proper hedonism.  Let us put away long-faced religion!  The first Christians were filled with joy and they attracted multitudes to join them.  The invitation to salvation isn’t pictured in the Bible as a funeral, but a wedding!  John Piper says, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

[1]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:804.

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